Tag Archives: Mt_Emily_Oregon

Sunset and snow

As winter draws to a close here in northeast Oregon, I enjoyed an opportunity at our local ski area in the Elkhorn Mountains to enjoy some snow scenes.  The evening before, La Grande had been blessed with a most incredible sunset.  These scenes are a reminder of the intense beauty that surrounds us if we are able to make time to see.

God’s Covenant with us

As I look at the secular law of contracts, and compare it to God’s gift of covenant, I am astounded at the difference.  If we entered a contract, and one party breaks it, the contract ends. Penalties are imposed and the parties go their separate ways, unhealed and unforgiven.  God’s covenant with us is from God alone to us; we  do not, did not, choose to enter into it. God made the decision to enter into this partnership with us, His creation, His people. We still must face His justice if we break the covenant, but God does not revoke it and walk away.  His unconditional love, His forgiveness and grace remain ever present for us when we repent and turn back to Him.  As Paul writes in Romans 8:39. “nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”



Traveling with God across the country

On Tuesday,my cardiologist cleared me for travel.  Meg and I are leaving this afternoon (Friday) to drive back to New Hampshire to visit Michael and Sara.  In addition, I will be the featured artist at the Great Falls Discovery Center in western Mass for the month of October.  My New England fall pictures were discovered on my web site in January, 2010, and this US Fish and Wildlife Refuge facility asked me to show them.  We are taking the northern tier through Montana, North Dakota, northern Michigan and Canada to Niagara Falls, upstate New York, visiting friends along the way.

Our MBA Chinese student, Marshal, will house sit for us, although for this driving trip we are taking our golden retriever, Dakota, with us.  Jasmine, our other Chinese student, is now in Eugene.  A week and half ago, three years to the date she arrived at SeaTac, we drove her and her possessions to Eugene, where she will begin her studies for a Masters in Accounting.   We have deeply appreciated the opportunity to watch her growth, and to grow ourselves as we expanded our family.
Meg and I are looking forward to this total time together. We have no idea what lies ahead during the next twelve days.  We do know God travels with us and ahead of us. His love surrounds us, as we enjoy His Creation, knowing that our time on earth is exciting, but only temporary. We sing His praises here, and someday we will get to sing His praises in eternity.

Our circumstances, then and now

Certainly the world is not the world of a decade ago, nor even further back to the early days when Meg and I began to learn about ourselves, our similarities, strengths, weaknesses after our marriage on September 2, 1967.  We really did not know God then; we believed he was “up there,” someplace, but we were strong on our own, not needing a relationship beyond what we were learning to share between us.

We have changed so much over the decades, physically and spiritually.  The one constant, however, has been a deepening journey toward God, trying each day to apply and understand the love He has shown us through Jesus Christ. Cancer challenges, heart challenges all are part of the experience He has laid out for us.  And the question for each of us always is, “how do we respond?”
Oswald Chambers said it so well in his reading from “My Utmost for His Highest” on August 31, and his statement applies to us as well as to this nation:  “Living a full and overflowing life does not depend on bodily health, in circumstances, nor even in seeing God’s work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God and in the same oneness and fellowship with Him that Jesus himself enjoyed. But the first thing that will hinder this joy is the subtle irritability caused by giving too much thought to our circumstances.”